Personal Faith

Listening to Podcasts!

© Lightstock.com

© Lightstock.com

The first 3 months of 2019 I found myself doing a lot of driving each weekend. As part of my work with Poimen Ministries, I’ve been assisting a young pastor dealing with some serious health issues. He and his young family moved to the Florida panhandle from So California to plant a church a few years ago.

Each Saturday morning for 3 months, I made the 4 1/2-hour drive to their area and back again Sunday afternoon. So, I put the time to good use by listening to podcasts. It’s been a blessing for me to come alongside this pastor, preach through much of the book of Hebrews, and encourage he and his family as we pray for his healing.

Thankfully, he is recovering his strength and health, so I’m only going out to help once a month. Also, it’s been great to see the church rally in support of him and develop fresh vision to see how they can continue impacting their community with the gospel.

A new podcast launched!

I’ll share more about the podcasts I’ve listened to but first— Check out the newly launched Poimen Ministries podcast—Strength for Today’s Pastor—hosted by our director, Pastor Bill Holdridge! Although our primary goal is to provide practical help and insights for senior or lead pastors, there are plenty of great thoughts for everyone to glean.

Here are a couple podcasts to check out—

So far, we have 6 episodes uploaded and each week a new episode will be released. You can listen to, subscribe, and download episodes from ITunes, Spotify, and Anchor.

Some other podcasts

Other podcasts I’ve appreciated and gained insights from include— 200Churches, Revitalize and Replant, and Making Disciples.

Here are some links to podcasts I liked and many be of interest to you, if not just because you might wonder what interests me…lol.

From 200Churches.com primarily targeting small church pastors but relevant for all pastors

From Revitalize and Replantfocuses on revitalizing churches and replants but relevant for pastors and leaders within all churches

From Making Disciples with Robby Gallaty this brother practices what he preaches and is quite knowledgable with great insights on disciple-making and disciple-makers

There are other podcasts I like to listen to but these stand out as a few of my favorites related to ministry, especially with Poimen Ministries. Give them a listen and let me know of any podcasts you like and why!

Lane-Locked

So locked in you can’t see beyond

I do a fair amount of driving and there are a few routes I take pretty often in and out of town. While driving I’ve observed a common behavior. At first, it perturbed me but then gave way to some pondering.

I noticed how people would line up in a lane, sometimes miles before necessary, to exit onto another road or offramp. This seems to hold true for right or left-hand turns. This impedes traffic and causes unnecessary congestion along the way.

A similar pet peeve I have about drivers are those who insist on driving in the fast lane—you know, the farthest left lane (in America) intended for traffic that moves faster than those in other lanes.

These drivers hold to their speed and resist moving over regardless of the speed limit or line of cars backed up behind them.

When it’s time for their turnoff they drive across two or three lanes of traffic to get in the right lane—where they should be already!

But this is not a post about traffic habits nor a rant about frustrating drivers. It’s an observation on life — and faith.

An observation

It’s easy to get so locked into where we’re going we don’t see any other possibilities than what’s straight ahead in our view of things.

Continue reading this on Medium—click here– Lane-Locked

Why? — The Perennial Question

Moving beyond the dark cloud

I just couldn’t shake the heaviness.

It seemed to hold on to me no matter how much I prayed or read my Bible.

Why?!

This was my continuing question of God as I endured a dark spiritual fog. It’s the perennial question we all ask when things don’t make sense or seem to go crossways to what we believe.

I was a young believer and recently married. We were very involved in our church and I served in various ways each week. We were doing all the right things. So, why did this heaviness stay with me?

I sought the counsel of others older in the faith and the answer was the same. It’s just a trial—a time of testing me and my faith. Just keep praying, reading the Bible, serving, and stay in fellowship. It was good advice.

But the dark heaviness continued.

This perplexed me and I kept trying to figure out what was wrong. Was I doing all the right things in a wrong way? No. It didn’t seem to be that.

This time of testing went on for weeks. Much longer than I expected or been told trials like this should go on.

More questions

Perhaps it was an intense spiritual attack?

So, I read about spiritual attacks and how to battle them. I would envision putting on the spiritual armor Paul spoke of in Ephesians (Eph 6:13–18 NIV). I would pray earnestly and claim victory over the enemy of my soul!

But the heaviness prevailed…

Continue reading this post on Medium—click here– Why?—The Perennial Question

Those People Are Us

Those people!

Are there people in your life who only seem to come around when they have some need? Then they act like they’re your BFF?

They may want to borrow some money, need a ride, or be rescued from some crisis. They come to you when they need help but when the need is met, they’re gone again. When another need arises they’ll be back for more help.

In my roles as pastor in the US and later as a director of two ministries overseas, this was a common occurrence. I found some people to be in chronic need of help. Little time would pass when some new crisis hit their life.

But there were some people who needed assistance but once it was given they seemed to be stable and able to move forward on their own.

Some people just blurt out what they need or want right away. But for some, it takes a while to build up the courage to ask for whatever it is they need.

One lesson my wife and I learned over the years is there is not enough money or time to fill the needs of those who came to us for help. We had limited resources and limitations on our capacity to help.

So we did what we could with what we had to offer.

We are those people

The thing is—we are those people with God. You and me. All of us. Think about it. Be honest.

Continue reading this post on Medium—click here– Those People Are Us

Wise Counsel

What is your source of wisdom?

How can anyone resist the pull of peer pressure? It’s easy to say, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!” But resisting the influence of others is not so easy.

At times, the forcefulness of other people intimidates us. Some people sound so convincing when they present an opportunity or plan as an adventure or a sure bet we need to get in on.

Sometimes, we don’t want to be left out of a group of people who seem to have something special. These are some of the ways we get pulled along in a way we should not go.

Here’s where wise counsel comes in but where to find it? God’s design is for parents to be a source of wisdom and guidance for their children. But not all parents are suited to do this nor do all children have parents present to do so.

The Proverbs of Solomon provide one source of wisdom, often given as a father to a son or in the figurative sense of a woman calling out to anyone who will listen. Here is a father’s admonition to an older son—

My son, listen to your father’s discipline, and do not neglect your mother’s teachings,

Continue reading this post on Medium—click here— Wise Counsel